Past Events


Japan Festival of Wellington (Saturday, 24 November 2018)

Held every two years in Wellington, the Japan Festival is one of the highlights in the city’s events calendar, attracting thousands of visitors.

Enjoy exciting stage performances, sample delicious Japanese dumplings and sushi, or even have a go at origami paper folding.

Date: Saturday, 24 November 2018
Venue: TSB Arena
The official website:



Japanese Film Festival 2018 (Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 October)

Our annual Film Festival is back with six great Japanese movies for you to see at Wellington’s very own Hannah Playhouse! All movies are free, and are Japanese language with English subtitles in a wide range of genres. Here is more details.


Venue website:
Hannah Playhouse, 12 Cambridge Terrace, Te Aro, Wellington 6011

Travelling Exhibition - Struggling Cities: from Japanese Urban Projects in the 1960s (July and August 2018)

The architecture exhibition was held in July and August 2018 in cooperation with the Faculty of Architecture and Design, Victoria University of Wellington.

More details


Travelling Exhibition "HANDCRAFTED FORM: Traditions and Techniques" (25 November 2017 - 22 January 2018)

In corporation with Expressions Arts & Entertainment Centre, over 100 Japanese traditional handcrafted artworks will be displayed. Click here for more details

Venue: Expressions Arts & Entertainment Centre at Upper Hutt (9am - 4pm, 7 days)



Japan Film Festival (14th - 17th September 2017 )

Click HERE for more information



2017 Wellington Armageddon Expo

Japan Information and Cultural Centre of the Embassy of Japan participated in the Wellington Armageddon Expo for the first time this year.

For the entire three day event from 3-5 June, we provided various information on Japanese pop culture and tourism, gave calligraphy demonstrations and provided cosplay photo taking opportunities in front of a traditional Japanese Gold Screen. Many anime and manga enthusiasts were pleased to take home Japanese calligraphy with their chosen characters as well as get their face painted with some cool calligraphic characters such as 神(God), 侍(Samurai), 猫(Cat) and 孫悟空(Son Goku from Dragon Ball) etc.!

We appreciate so many families visiting our booth and hundreds of cosplayers using our Gold Screen photo booth to show off their brilliant costumes. (Linked to our Facebook)
We hope to see you again at our future Japanese events!



Naoko Tosa, Cultural Envoy - Exhibition Opening and Artist Talk - Feburary 2016


Wellington City Japan Festival - November 2016

PhotosAmbassador's speech

Reopening of "Sakura Hall”at Crofton Downs Primary School - October 2016

Speech by Ambassador Toshihisa Takata at the Reopening of "Sakura Hall”, Wellington


Japan Film Festival - October 2016


Pottery Exhibition, 1- 14 September 2016

The Rising Generation from Traditional Japanese Kilns

ST. JAMES THEATRE, First Floor Gallery, 77-87 Courtenay Place, Te Aro, Wellington

Maiko performance - "Jewel of Kyoto" - March 2016


Jewels of Kyoto

Traditional Dance & Talk by Japanese Maiko

Memorial Theatre, Victoria University of Wellington
Saturday 5 March 2016 (Free Admission)
13:45 – 14:15 RSVP Entry
14:30 – 16:00 Performance

Who are Maiko?

Maiko are apprentice Geisha, traditional Japanese female artists who have done rigorous training and are accomplished in the Japanese arts, such as tea ceremony, flower arranging and dancing.

Always elaborately and immaculately-dressed, Maiko are one of the most unique and distinct embodiments of high culture in Japanese classical arts.

Presented and corporated by


Japanese Film Festival 2015

Flyer (13-17/10/ 2015)


Special Lecture and Demonstration sessions from a cultural envoy of Japan

Flyer (18/08/2015)


Photo Exhibition - TOHOKU Through the Eyes of Japanese Photographers (3/6-2/7 2015)

This greatly successful photo exhibiton with more than 7000 visitors showcased over one hundred Tohoku regional Japanese photos at Wellington City Central Library from 3 June to 2 July in 2015.
Press ReleaseFlyer


Lecture by Mr. Maruo, First Secretary of the Embassy: The security policies and the Japan-U.S. alliance under the Abe administration (28 May 2015)

      On 28 May 2015, Mr. Shinichi Maruo, First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy in Wellington, gave a lecture on the security policies and the Japan-U.S. alliance under the Abe administration at the Victoria University of Wellington.

      In his lecture, Mr. Maruo gave an overview of the security situation surrounding Japan and then explained about a series of security measures the Abe administration is addressing. He also examined the content of the peace security bills, which are being deliberated at the current Diet session, which are in line with Japan’s recent external policies, and analyzed the potential of the Japan-U.S. security alliance.

      At the lecture, the audience asked Mr. Maruo how the Japanese people see the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance and the degree of understanding about the dispatch of the peace-keeping missions.


Summary of Tea Ceremony Workshop - September 2013



Visit to New Zealand by Ship for World Youth delegation - February 2013

On Tuesday, 26 February the Embassy of Japan hosted a visit by the Ship for World Youth delegation to learn about New Zealand business practices and corporate social responsibility and environmental awareness.

The Ship for World Youth is a long-running exchange programme that hosts youth from Japan and around the world to promote cross-cultural understanding.

This year the delegations from New Zealand and other countries first travelled to Japan to study a variety of current topics, with the Japanese delegation then splitting up to travel overseas to learn more about the issues in other participating countries. A group of 23 travelled to New Zealand to learn about how the New Zealand business community are adopting corporate social responsibility policies and protecting the environment. In addition to their visit to the Embassy they will also visit Parliament and various local companies, and also underake cultural visits such as to a Marae.

In the evening a reception was hosted at Parliament by the Minister for Youth Affairs, Hon. Nikki Kaye. Along with the delegation from Japan representatives from the Embassy and some of the New Zealand delegation and Ship for World Youth Alumni were also in attendance.

Members of the Japan and New Zealand Ship for World Youth delegations at the reception at Parliament.


Lecture - Cultural differences between Japan & New Zealand: Implications for Business - May 2013

On Wednesday, 15 May the Japan Information and Cultural Centre hosted a lecture by visiting Professor Susumu Yamaguchi, in association with the Centre for Applied Cross-cultural Research, Victoria University of Wellington and the Youth Advisory Council of the Japan New Zealand Business Council. Professor Yamaguchi, professor of social psychology of the University of Tokyo, spoke on "Cultural differences between Japan & New Zealand: Implications for Business".

Professor Yamaguchi primarily discussed control orientations. He explained that Westerners typically rely on primary control (changing external circumstances) and often get frustrated when they try to do business in Japan, where there are many obstacles to change. Contrary to typical Western conceptions, primary control in Japan involves indirect control, including subtle attempts to influence power holders who can actually change external circumstances.

Over 60 attended the lecture, and stayed on for the question and answer session and refreshments.

Lecture slides


School Visits - Feilding High School - May 2013

The Japan Information and Cultural Centre recently hosted a school group from Feilding High School.

The students, who have all been studying Japanese for three to four years, heard about the JET Programme and Japanese Government Scholarships. They also watched videos about Japanese culture, took part in a quiz, and played a variety of Japanese games, such as karuta and kendama.

Embassy visits such as these are very popular with schools in the Wellington region, and even further afield.  The Embassy normally host a couple of schools per month, many of the students are currently studying Japanese

If you would like to organise a visit by your school to the Japan Information and Cultural Centre please contact us by email at


Origami Workshops - February 2013

On Tuesday, 12 February the Embassy of Japan organised two workshops for the public on origami (Japanese paper folding) hosted by Mr Alan Wong of the Wellington Origami Club. Over 50 people signed up for the two workshops, and participants were selected by a random draw.

The atmosphere at the workshops was relatively casual. Alan gave an introduction to origami and discussed its history, and then performed a demonstration.  After this participants got to give it a go themselves, and chose an instruction sheet from several different levels.  Alan moved around the group offering assistance and advice, and the participants managed a few impressive pieces of work.

Response to the workshops was positive, and the Embassy hopes to host more workshops soon.

Origami Workshop

Origami Workshop


School Visits - Ohau School, St. Bernard's College, Wainuiomata High School - 2012

The Japan Information and Cultural Centre has recently hosted school groups from Ohau School, St. Bernard's College and Wainuiomata High School.

The students, who have all been studying Japanese for one to two years, heard about the JET Programme and Japanese Government Scholarships. They also watched videos about Japanese culture, took part in a quiz, and played a variety of Japanese games.

These visits are a popular part of the end-of-year programme for many schools in the Wellington region with active Japanese language programmes.


St. Bernard's School students participate in a quiz about Japan.

Students from Ohau School perform The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Japanese.

Students from Ohau School practice with kendama, a popular Japanese toy.

Students from Wainuiomata High School pose in Japanese happi coats.

If you would like to organise a visit by your school to the Japan Information and Cultural Centre please contact us by email at


Wellington Regional Japanese Speech Competition - June 2012

The third annual Wellington regional Japanese Speech Competition was held on Friday, 15 June 2012 at Firth Hall at Wellington College. The competition was organised by the Wellington Association of Japanese Language Teachers with the support of the Japan Foundation. 30 contestants from eight secondary schools took part, and the total audience, including teachers, was about 100 people.

Students spoke on a variety of topics, including “Why I love learning Japanese”, “My school day”, and “I love Taylor Swift”.

Mr Takashi Ato, Director of the Japan Information and Cultural Centre, Embassy of Japan, said that he was very pleased with the speech competition, and that the level of competition was even higher than the previous year.

Congratulations to all of the participants!

1st -Sabrina Kao (Queen Margaret College) –“My School Day” (right)
2nd - Chris Warren (Onslow College) – “Self Introduction” (2nd from right)
3rd -Toby Leman (Wellington College) – “My Family” (left)
HC* - Grayden O’Connor (Hutt Valley High School) – “My Average Day” (2nd from left)

1st - Alexandra King (Queen Margaret College) –“Lord of the Rings” (centre)
2nd - April Lim (Hutt Valley High School) – “Music” (left)
3rd - Jeli Mendoza (Upper Hutt College) –“I Love Taylor Swift” (right)
HC - Joshua McCauley (Raphael House) – “My School”

1st - Timothy Lau (Wellington College) – “Technological Advancement and Our Life” (2nd from left)
2nd - Tamara Jenkin (Queen Margaret College) – “How Japan Influences NZ Pop Culture” (right)
3rd - Ellen Xiong (Hutt Valley High School) – “Why I love learning Japanese” (2nd from right)
HC - Mitchell Reid Tait (Wellington High School) –“The Pressure of School” (left)

1st - Trees Neal (Onslow College) – “Kiwiana” (2nd from right)
2nd - Jayshiela Arrasappan (Upper Hutt College) – “Kimono” (2nd from left)
3rd - Hannah Betts (Onslow College) – “My Thoughts from the Hillary Challenge” (right)
HC - Grace Raika (Otaki College) –“My Region” (left)

(*HC= Highly Commended)



Exchange of Congratulatory Messages by Prime Ministers to Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations - April 2012

Details here



Reception for anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake - March 2012

Media Release



Furoshiki workshop - March 2012



Japan Booth at the Flight Centre Travel Expo - 2012

2011 Jet ReceptionThe Embassy of Japan organised a "Visit Japan" booth at the recent 2012 Flight Centre Travel Expo, held at Wellington's TSB Arena on Sunday, 29 January.  The event was highly successful, with an estimated 5000 people attending.  Over 1000 visited the Japan booth to answer a questionnaire about travel to Japan, and to ask questions about tourism.  The booth also held Origami workshops and Japanese Tea Ceremony performances, both of which were well received by visitors.

Outside the Arena the Embassy of Japan also organised a Yosakoi dance performance and a Taiko drum performance, which attracted large crowds.

The Embassy of Japan organised a "Visit Japan" booth at the recent 2012 Flight Centre Travel Expo.

2011 Jet Reception

The Yosakoi dance group travelled down from Auckland to perform.







2011 Jet Reception

The popular taiko drum team from International Pacific College attended from Palmerston North.






2011 Jet ReceptionPerformance by the taiko drummers.







2011 Jet ReceptionTea Ceremony demonstration at the Visit Japan booth.








External Economic Policies in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami - November 2011

Slides, Transcript



JET Programme participants depart for Japan - July 2011

The farewell Reception for the 2011 JET Programme participants was held on the 29th of July at the Japan Information and Cultural Centre. There were 32 new JETs present. This year there are around 100 participants from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch who departed on the 31st of July to start their contracts on the JET Programme.

At the reception, the Chargé d’affaires ad interim Mr. Yoshimasa Tezuka assured the new participants that Japan is now safe, and suggested that the new JET participants invite their friends and family over to visit while they are there. Mr Tezuka talked about how Japan has changed and will continue to change due to the earthquake and tsunami on the 11th of March 2011. He mentioned as one example how many people are re-evaluating traditional knowledge and customs in order to save energy after the earthquake.

The Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown also gave a few words to the participants. She told them about her experiences in Sakai City, which is the sister city of Wellington, on her recent trip there and encouraged them to represent not only New Zealand, but also Wellington.

The Director of the North Asia division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Mr Grahame Morton spoke to the participants about how lucky they are to be able to join a local community in Japan, and to gain insights which most outsiders never have the opportunity to acquire.

Mr Mark Te Punga was a special guest, as he was one of the first JETs from New Zealand in 1987, when the Programme started. Initially there were only 4 participating countries (NZ, US, UK and Australia) and 848 participants. Today there are 36 participating countries and 4,334 participants. Mark talked about the important four "P's". Pride, Participation, Perseverance and Privilege, and he encouraged the new JETs to make the most out of their time in Japan.

2011 Jet Reception

30 of the 2011 JET Programme participants, and the Chargé d’affaires ad interim Mr. Yoshimasa Tezuka at their farewell reception.

Nathan meets Mayor

Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) Nathan Cooper meets Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown.
Nathan is heading for Sakai-shi in Osaka, which is the sister city of Wellington.

Charge d'affaires ad interim Mr. Yoshimasa Tezuka

Speech by Chargé d’affaires ad interim Mr. Yoshimasa Tezuka.

Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown

Speech by Her Worship the Mayor of Wellington, Ms. Celia Wade-Brown.

Director Grahame Morton

Greeting by Mr. Grahame Morton. Director, North Asia Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Mr Mark Te Punga (1987 JET)

Speech by Mr. Mark Te Punga (1987 NZ JET Programme participant).



Lecture - The Future of Solar Technology as Clean Energy - July 2011

The Japan Information and Cultural Centre is pleased to invite you to a guest lecture by Dr. Yoshitaka Okada, Professor at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) at the University of Tokyo, from 6:00 on Thursday, 2 August. He is currently the leader for the national project on Research and Development on Innovative Solar Cells, targeting solar cell conversion efficiency of greater than 45%.

Professor Okada will speak in English to a general audience and give an overview of the activities in Japanese solar cell research and industry. He will also discuss emerging new technologies and materials under investigation in Japan which aim to increase the efficiency and to reduce the cost of solar power generation, a highly relevant topic given Japan’s recent move towards renewable energy.




Due to space constraints registrations will be put into a draw for the available places, and results will be announced on 25 July. If you would like to take part in the workshop please register your interest by 5pm Friday, 20 July 2011 via email to  Please include your name, telephone number, and email address, and include “Registration for Solar Power lecture” in the subject field.

For more information, please refer to the flyer.

* With special credit to New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization(NEDO).



JETAA Wellington photo exhibition - November 2010

JETAA Wellington Photo exhibition

JETAA Wellington held a photo exhibition at the cultural centre for two weeks in November. The exhibition was of the finalists of the JETAA Wellington photo competition. There were 100 entries, and over 30 photos were chosen to be finalists. There were three categories: JET, Open, and Youth. A winner and a runner up were chosen from each category. These six photos are displayed below.

Dates:   November 8th to 19th 2010

Venue: Japan Information and Cultural Centre

    • Level 18 The Majestic Centre
    • 100 Willis Street, Wellington

Winners of the JET Wellington Photo competition 2010

(Click to enlarge)

Note- photos are copyrighted by the winners and JETAA Wellington

Chusit Apirumanekul

Chusit Apirumanekul - Furano Lavender fields OPEN Winner

Caleb Forlong

Caleb Forlong - Turtle on rock. YOUTH Winner

Karen Retter

Karen Retter -  snow covered vending machines. JET Winner
Anna Bishop

Anna Bishop - Bully button Matsuri JET Runner up

Joshua Hodgson

Joshua Hodgson - School Matsuri. YOUTH Runner up
Derek Chang

Derek Chang - Tokyo Fish Markets OPEN Runner up


Japan festival of Wellington report - September 2010

Japan Festival of Wellington Logo

The second Japan Festival took place on the 5th of September 2010 in Wellington at the Wellington Town Hall. This year the festival attracted over 5000 people. Attractions included Taiko drumming, a Karate demonstration from a Grand Master, Chin-Don Tsushinsha (an Osaka-based music troupe of traditional and eccentric street musicians), a Tea Ceremony performance, a Judo demonstration, and a Bon Odori dance. In addition to the cultural displays Japanese crafts and a selection of Japanese cuisine were on sale at the food stalls. Photos from the festival are below.

The festival was hosted by the Embassy of Japan, the Asia New Zealand Foundation, the Japan Foundation, and the Wellington City Council.

Flute and Koto performance.

Artists perform on a traditional 12-string Japanese harp.

Chanoyu (The Tea Ceremony)

The Tea Ceremony involves preparing powdered tea for guests according to custom and enjoying its austere taste quietly and serenely. Influenced by Zen Buddhism, the tea ceremony seeks to purify the mind and attain oneness with nature. A formal tea gathering today lasts up to four hours. At present over 10 million people study the Tea Ceremony in Japan.

Students from IPC perform on the Taiko, or Japanese drums.

Dancers perform the Awa-odori, a traditional dance from the Shikoku area of Japan.

Chindon Tsushinya, a musical group from Osaka perform in the traditional street musician style.

Origami desk.

Teacher and students fold origami.

Mochi pounding.

The Japanese Businessman's association of Wellington deliver a colourful demonstration of how to pound "mochi," or Japanese rice balls, to an enthusiastic audience.

Children perform.

Karate Grand Master performs "kata" on the main stage at the Japan Festival.

Older events

Back to top | Copyright© 2014 Embassy of Japan in New Zealand | Legal Matters | About Accessibility | Privacy Policy